Indian Woman Known by Husband's Faith, Says BJP MP after Cleric Slams Nusrat Jahan's Puja Festivities

Indian Woman Known by Husband's Faith, Says BJP MP after Cleric Slams Nusrat Jahan's Puja Festivities

Kolkata: TMC MP Nusrat Jahan, facing the wrath of a section of Muslim clerics for attending Durga puja celebrations, on Monday found support in Union minister Debasree Chaudhuri who said personal choices should be respected and an Indian woman is known by her husband's faith.

A cleric associated with Darul Uloom Deoband has said the popular Bengali film actor turned Lok Sabha member should change her name and religion because she is "defaming Islam and Muslims" by her actions.

Jahan, the first-time MP from Bashirhat, sports symbols of Hindu matrimony like 'mangalsutra and sindur' since her marriage to a Hindu entrepreneur Nikhil Jain earlier this year.

"Everybody should respect personal choices. It is her choice and she has the freedom to practice or participate in any festival of her choice. And in India, a married woman generally practises the religion of her husband. And we all know that Nusrat has married Nikhil Jain," Chaudhuri said.

Reacting to the statement by Mufti Asad Qasmi, the Union minister of state for woman and child development also wondered why the clerics chose to remain quiet when Azaan is being played inside a Durga puja pandal in Kolkata. "Does it not tantamount to hurting religious sentiments?" the BJP leader asked.

Chaudhuri was referring to Azaan along with Sanskrit hymns being played inside a puja pandal at Beleghata in north Kolkata as part of a theme - communal harmony.

Qasmi told TV news channels that Nusrat Jahan has been "offering puja to Hindu Gods despite the fact that Islam orders its followers to pray only to Allah. What she has done is Haram (sinful)."

Islam does not need people who assume Muslim names and defame Islam and Muslims, Qasmi said. Resplendent in a saree and sporting sindur, Jahan had attended Durga puja celebrations at a pandal with her husband on Sunday.

Jahan later told journalists that she had prayed for peace and prosperity of all. "In Bengal, we all celebrate all festivals together. I always enjoy being part of the celebrations. I don't bother about controversies," she said.

Television channels had shown her lip-syncing to hymns being recited by a priest, her eyes closed and hands folded in solemn prayer. She also beat a drum and danced joyously.

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